Training Tools for Healthy Schools E-Learning Series

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Promoting Health and Academic Success

The Centers for Disease Control Healthy Schools program created an E-Learning series consisting of five core training tools that have recently been updated to include 1-1.5 hour video modules for the ease and flexibility of online learners. All the topics have a very thorough Go Further section to learn more and see other resources available.

Use these training tools to assist your school or district in identifying strengths and weaknesses and areas for improvement in the ongoing journey to create healthier schools and students.

The following are the five core training tools:

1) Comprehensive School Physical Activity Program (CSPAP)

PE teacher shows her class how to stretch 

CSPAP is an approach with several parts for schools and districts to use all opportunities for students to be physically active every day, meet the national daily recommendations of 60 minutes of physical activity, and develop the knowledge, skills, and confidence to be physically active for a lifetime.

CSPAP components include:

  • physical education
  • physical activity during school (recess, in-classroom activity)
  • physical activity before and after school
  • staff involvement
  • family and community engagement.

2) Health Education Curriculum Analysis Tool (HECAT)

Teacher goes over workbook with her students 

The HECAT is a set of guidelines to assist the review of health education courses for all grades K-12. Scoring tools are used to review a set of lesson plans to identify priorities and develop the course goals to match the eight standards of the National Health Education Standards.

HECAT can be used to review and improve your locally-developed health education curriculum, or to assist in analyzing new health education curriculum.

3) Parents for Healthy Schools

Mom walks her excited daughter to her first day of school 

Parents play an important role in supporting the health and well-being of children and adolescents both at home and school. When parents are engaged in school activities, their children get better grades, choose healthier behaviors and have better social skills.

Parents for Healthy Schools (P4HS) is a set of resources that can be used to involve parents in helping to create healthy school environments for students.

The P4HS resources focus on three important aspects of healthy schools:

  • school nutrition environment and services
  • physical education and physical activity, and
  • managing chronic health conditions in schools.

4) School Health Guidelines to Promote Healthy Eating and Physical Activity

Collage showing elementary school kids engaging in healthy physical activities and eating healthy school lunch. 

Schools play an important role in improving the dietary and physical activity behaviors of children and adolescents. Engaging students in healthy eating and regular physical activity can help lower their risk for obesity and related long-term diseases during adulthood.

The School Health Guidelines were developed by the CDC after researching and combining the best practices to promote healthy eating and regular physical activity in schools.

Nine guidelines were created to serve as the foundation for putting into action these school-based healthy eating and physical activity policies and practices for students.

5) Schol Health Index (SHI): A Self Assessment and Planning Guide

School Health Index - Self-Assessment and Planning Guide image 

The School Health Index is a tool to review your school’s health and safety policies and practices. Once completed, the results can assist you in developing a plan of improvement.

It was developed by the Centers for Disease Control in partnership with school administrators and staff, school health experts, parents, and national nongovernmental health and education agencies.

It is structured around the Whole School, Whole Community, Whole Child (WSCC) model and reviews all ten parts of the WSCC.


Webpage updated July 2023